Throughout the length and breadth of Spain -- Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cordoba, Guadix, Jaen, Leon, Madrid, Malaga, Oviedo, Palma de Mallorca, Santander, Seville, Valencia, Valladolid and Zaragoza, the centenary of the pontifical approval of the Teresian Association is being celebrated.

Ever since 11 January, there have been groups of members in all these places inviting students, former students, relatives, co-workers and friends to celebrate with us. The call of the gospel asking us to be like salt, to give flavour, to heal wounds and to be a presence that diffuses, is the common denominator in all the Mass celebrations.

In Guadix on 11 January in the afternoon, Mass was presided by the bishop of the diocese, Francisco Jesús Orozco Mengíbar. He spoke about the educational and humanizing work of Poveda: “everything began here, in the chapel of the bishopric of Guadix where he was ordained a priest... the caves of Guadix were the origin of the Teresian Association mission to build a more just and humane society...”.

Video of the Mass in Guadix.

The Basilica of La Merced, in Barcelona, awas the venue for Mass on 11 January, and a large number of people came together to join in thanksgiving. The auxiliary bishop, David Abadías Aurín, presided over the celebration. He was accompanied by twelve concelebrating priests.
Carolina Ramírez, president of ACIT Levante Norte, presented the meaning of the event in her opening remarks. She said that the first residential academy opened by the Association was near the church of La Merced in 1918.

Bishop Abadías, in his homily, encouraged the TA to continue sowing and bearing fruit. He pointed out that one hundred years is a long time and at the same time it is not very much. He said that the TA is still young and that there is much work to be done and a charism to share. He congratulated the TA on having carried out the mission for all this time. He gave special mention to the work helping people to have “inner depth”, and to the TA dedication to young people.

Celebration in the Basílica of la Merced, Barcelona.

In Bilbao, Mass on the 11th was in the Cathedral of Santiago. This venue was chosen as a symbol of communion with the local and universal Church. It was presided by Alex Alonso Gilsanz, vicar general, and several priests concelebrated.
Among those present were students and former students, co-workers and former staff of the Ikasbide School, InteRed volunteers and people from MIT (the TA Movement).
In the homily, Alex Alonso said that he was grateful that he had come into contact with St Pedro Poveda and the Teresian Association and that he had been given the opportunity to participate in the pastoral project of the Ikasbide School. He noted several aspects of the Association like the attention given to the disadvantaged, the advancement of women, and presence in society as lay people in the world acting as salt and light. He also mentioned that Poveda accompanied many people spiritually who were not part of the TA, as attested by many letters and testimonies.

The TA in Asturias is enthusiastically celebrating this Centenary. They have scheduled several events and they are offering the possibility throughout the year of “Visiting Pedro Poveda's Oviedo”. This has been made into a publication. On 11 January they had Mass together just like in so many other places around the world. It was held in the parish church of St Tirso. The greeting at the start invited everyone to give thanks and to enter into the heart of the world to offer help and commitment. The Victoria Regia Choir accompanied the liturgy. In the homily, the parish priest, Ángel Rodríguez, presented the figure of Poveda and commented that “he was a neighbour of this parish” because, whenever he went to Oviedo from Covadonga, he stayed in an inn very close by.

On 11 January, the TA in Cordoba cheld a prayer meeting at its headquarters in the Plaza de la Concha. Those invited were people who frequent this Cultural Space where the remains of Blessed Victoria Díez rest. Mass will be celebrated to mark the centenary of pontifical approval on Sunday 25 February. It will be presided by the bishop of the diocese, Demetrio Fernández.

Santander also had Mass on 11 January in the afternoon in the Cathedral. The event was attended by families and students of the Castroverde School. The Primary School took an active part in the singing. Many former pupils also joined in and expressed their gratitude for this reunion with the TA.

In Sevilla on 12 January, Archbishop José Ángel Saiz Meneses began the Mass by thanking God for blessing the Church with the charism of the Teresian Association. He emphasised the call to be like salt and light, commenting that “humanity needs flavour and vigour to live. This is the mission of the disciples of Jesus... but Jesus does not say that we are just one more light among many other lights, but the light... disciples can only be light if they live united to Christ the Light...”. He concluded by placing the Association under the watchful gaze of Mary... “who helps us to discover with enthusiasm and hope the challenges of the present moment and to face them without fear...” The liturgy was accompanied by the Choir of San Felipe Neri.

Video of the celebration in Sevilla.

In Valladolid the celebratory Mass took place on 12 January in the parish church of Santísimo Salvador. The Vicar General, Jesús Fernández Libiano, spoke about his connection and friendship with the Association since his time as a seminarian and his work with young people. “From the beginning of my priestly life,” he said, “the Teresian Association has been closely linked to my ministry, to my vocation and to my apostolate as a priest. He also recalled his relationship with ACIT couples who are already grandparents”. He focused his homily on the mission and presence of the laity in the world and in society as God wishes them to be -- salt, light and leaven.

Video of the celebration in Valladolid.

catedral malagaIn Alicante, Mass was celebrated on 12 January in the co-cathedral of San Nicolás, presided by the bishop emeritus, Francisco Cases. The liturgy was accompanied by a choir of 75 children from the Colegio diocesano Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles and the Colegio Santa Teresa.
The bishop commented on the letter written by the TA president, Gregoria Ruiz, about the energy given by the gift received to go out and share the charism. He focused his homily on the people in the Teresian Association who introduced him to
 “Poveda’s good idea”.

Also on Friday 12 January, Malaga Cathedral welcomed everyone who wished to share “the good fortune and responsibility of being part of the great TA family”. The Mass was presided by the bishop of the diocese, Jesus Catalá, and there were several concelebrating priests.

A choir of students from the Santa Teresa Academy accompanied the liturgy. It was very well attended. The reasons for the celebration were remembered in the introductory words as well as the call made by Poveda to live like the early Christians in the midst of the world. “We feel united in fellowship to strive to find answers by committing ourselves, by reaching out to the most disadvantaged, by educating in equality and respect, by creating bridges between cultures, and by initiating new paths even after 100 years”, said Rosa Barrachina, a local ACIT member, at the end of the Mass.

The Bishop of Mallorca, Sebastià Taltavull, presided at the Mass in the Basilica of San Miguel on Sunday 14th January. In his homily he highlighted aspects of the Povedan charism. “A well-defined charism, accepted and solemnly proclaimed by the Church, a gesture of trust that we thank the Lord for today”, he said. He encouraged the members of the Association to "be disciples and missionaries of a Church that does not withdraw into itself, but has a clear proclamation". A Church that diffuses like salt is a sign of communion.mallorca

The Chapel of the Pilar in Zaragoza hosted a celebration on 15 January, presided over by the vicar general, Rubén Ruiz. It was remembered that Pedro Poveda and Josefa Segovia had visited Our Lady in this place and had Mass there on several occasions. The vicar general and the concelebrating priests have a close relationship with the TA and this was evident in their words of recognition and encouragement for the mission.
This was the second celebration held in Zaragoza. On 11 January there was Mass and a festive gathering in the Centro de Hermandades del Trabajo together with groups that share various projects at the Centre.

In Leon, on 19 January, there was Mass in the cathedral presided by Bishop Luis Ángel de las Heras. He pointed out that “It is a centenary with a vocation of eternity; and at the same time it is a young history, full of grace, of living out the faith in association and contributing to human advancement, beginning with helping women and everything that implies social transformation, through education and culture, from your professional and family responsibilities, participating in the evangelising mission of the Church, with preference being given to those most in need.”

On February 4, the fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, at 11:30 a.m., Jaen Cathedral was filled with families, students, friends and members of the TA. There was much emotion here where Pedro Poveda was a canon and in the city where Josefa Segovia was born and found the vocation that would be her life. The choir of boys and girls of the school gave a breath of future to the centenary.
The bishop of the diocese, highlighted aspects of the Gospel of the day: how Peter’s mother-in-law who had just been cured immediately started to serve Jesus and the others. “She represents the Church with so many people who serve evangelisation and the building up of the Kingdom of God,” he said. He recalled Poveda's response to the needs of his time as a testimony of lived faith, his experience of God and his intense desire to communicate this to others.

Video in the celebration in Jaen.

Several days earlier, the Association in Jaen, mindful of the centenary of the pontifical approval, joined the 'Circle of Silence' to remember the migrants who make difficult journeys from their homeland to an uncertain future and where sometimes death awaits them in anonymity. It was a silent call to solidarity for the transformation of unjust situations.

In Valencia, the TA marked the centenary of pontifical approval by organising an event on education on 8 February under the title “The value of gentleness in education” with a lecture by Daniel Lumera. In addition to other events, there will be a celebration of Mass in the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados in May.

In Spain, other events are planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the pontifical approval of the TA. To find out more about these events, go to the Spanish Sector website by clicking here.

A separate article about the celebration in the Cathedral of Santa María de la Almudena, held on 12 January in Madrid, can be accessed here.


 TA Info - Spain and TA Info.
TA Translation Team.




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